When I turned thirty I travelled up to Edinburgh (where I now live when not travelling) to study with Juan Tamariz, my favourite magician. I then cycled (well mostly) back to Bristol (where I lived at the time).
I had a vision of making the trip into some PR stunt about a travelling magician. Surviving with a street show and his wits and charm. I ended up just pedalling a lot and being really tired. But, it was an amazing experience and I have many happy memories from those several days spent on the road. I slept mostly in fields and hedges, and consequently the bathtub was treated to quite a lovely coating of accumulated grime on my arrival back home. I learnt that its better to just get out there into the adventure and be aware of opportunities. To do that, you really need to take your time and keep your eyes, ears and heart open.
Think twice before accepting cycling directions eagerly given by friendly strangers. They usually drive cars.
Ohh, and don’t swim with cows…
On the 11th of July, I will begin my first bicycle busking tour. Named Fifty Three Bicycles (more on tohat name here), I’ll be starting in Edinburgh and winding my way back to my home in Bristol. Performing as I go, my aim is to be back in time for International Busking Day (Saturday 23 July).
There are a number of challenges.
I’m not as fit as I used to be.
While I do cycle regularly, it is usually only a few miles a day. I’ve done a cycle tour once before, but I was in my early twenties and I was quite a bit fitter then. I was no Bradley Wiggins, but the belly was a wee bit smaller. I also made the previous trip with a friend and did not do any street performance. We just pedalled, ate, pedalled some more and then camped. We didn’t even make it to the pub! So this will be a learning experience, though I hope the lessons won’t be too painful.
Feel the rhythm
Well, finding the daily rhythm will be the first task. I have done a few 25-30 mile trips in good and bad weather, over flats and hills and aim to cycle 40-60 miles a day, but the great unknown is the daily rhythm of repeated journeys and performances. Hop on, hope off, amaze and amuse and hope back on again. Hey ho! Let’s go!
In July I am heading to Edinburgh to spend a day studying with the Maestro Juan Tamariz.
He is a fantastic performer and an extremely knowledgeable magician who has dedicated his life to creating wonderful close-up magic.
After the session, I will begin my first cycling magic busking tour. Beginning in Edinburgh, I’ll be relying on just a standard deck of Bicycle playing cards (52 cards minus the jokers), a bicycle and my magic skills (plus quite a bit of peddling) to get me back to my home in Bristol. Along the way I’ll be documenting the adventure, my experiences, encounters with strangers and friends and the changeable Great British weather.